Guidelines for Identifying Reportable Segments

AS-17 Segment Reporting issued by ASB of ICAI has the following guidelines on identifying reportable segments:

Guideline # 1. Primary and Secondary Segment Reporting Formats:

1. The dominant source and nature of risks and returns of an enterprise should govern whether its primary segment reporting format will be business segments or geographical segments. If the risks and returns of an enterprise are affected predominantly by differences in the products and services it produces, its primary format for reporting segment information should be business segments, with secondary information reported geographically.

Similarly, if the risks and returns of the enterprise are affected predominantly by the fact that it operates in different countries or other geographical areas, its primary format for reporting segment information should be geographical segments, with secondary information reported for groups of related products and services.

2. Internal organisation and management structure of an enterprise and its system of internal financial reporting to the board of directors and the chief executive officer should normally be the basis for identifying the predominant source and nature of risks and differing rates of return facing the enterprise and, therefore, for determining which reporting format is primary and which is secondary, except as provided in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) below.

(a) If risks and returns of an enterprise are strongly affected both by differences in the products and services it produces and by differences in the geographical areas in which it operates, as evidenced by a ‘matrix approach’ to managing the company and to reporting internally to the board of directors and the chief executive officer, then the enterprise should use business segments as its primary segment reporting format and geographical segments as its secondary reporting format; and

(b) If internal organisational and management structure of an enterprise and its system of internal financial reporting to the board of directors and the chief executive officer are based neither on individual products or services or groups of related products/services nor on geographical areas, the directors and management of the enterprise should determine whether the risk and returns of the enterprise are related more to the products and services it produces or to the geographical areas in which it operates and should, accordingly, choose business segments or geographical segments as the primary segment reporting format of the enterprise, with the other as its secondary reporting format.

3. For most enterprises, the predominant source of risks and returns determines how the enterprise is organised and managed. Organisational and management structure of an enterprise and its internal financial reporting system normally provide the best evidence of the predominant source of risk and returns of the enterprise for the purpose of its segment reporting.

Therefore, except in rare circumstances, an enterprise will report segment information in its financial statements on the same basis as it reports internally to top management. Its predominant source of risks and returns becomes its primary segment reporting format. Its secondary source of risks and returns becomes its secondary segment reporting format.

4. A ‘matrix presentation’—both business segments and geographical segments as primary segments reporting formats with full segment disclosure on each basis—will often provide useful information if risks and returns of an enterprise are strongly affected both by differences in the products and services it produces and by differences in the geographical area in which it operates. This Statement does not require, but does not prohibit, a ‘matrix presentation’.

5. In some cases, organisation and internal reporting of an enterprise may have developed along lines unrelated to both the types of products and services it produces, and the geographical areas in which it operates. In such cases, the internally reported segment data will not meet the objective of this Statement.

Accordingly, para 20(6) requires the directors and management of the enterprise to determine whether the risks and returns of the enterprise are more product/service driven or geographically driven and to accordingly choose business segments or geographical segments as the primary basis of segment reporting.

The objective is to achieve a reasonable degree of comparability with other enterprises, enhance understandability of the resulting information, and meet the needs of investors, creditors, and others for information about product/service-related and geographically related risks and returns.

Guideline # 2. Business and Geographical Segments:

1. Business and geographical segments of an enterprise for external reporting purposes should be those organizational units for which information is reported to the board of directors and to the chief executive officer for the purpose of evaluating the unit’s performance and for making decisions about future allocations of resources.

2. If internal organisational and management structure of an enterprise and its system of internal financial reporting to the board of directors and the chief executive officer are based neither on individual products or services or groups of related products/services nor on geographical areas, paragraph 20(6) requires that the directors and management of the enterprise should choose either business segments or geographical segments as the primary segment reporting format of the enterprise based on their assessment of which reflects the primary source of the risks and returns of the enterprise, with the other as its secondary reporting format.

In that case, the directors and management of the enterprise should determine its business segments and geographical segments for external reporting purposes, rather than on the basis of its system of internal financial reporting to the board of directors and chief executive officer, consistent with the following:

(a) If one or more of the segments reported internally to the directors and management is a business segment or a geographical segments based on the factors in the definitions in paragraph 5 but others are not, subparagraph

(b) Below should be applied only to those internal segments that do not meet the definitions in paragraph 5 (that is, an internally reported segment that meets the definition should not be further segmented);

(b) For those segments reported internally to the directors and management that do not satisfy the definitions in paragraph 5, management of the enterprise should look to the next lower level of internal segmentation that reports information along product and service lines or geographical lines, as appropriate under the definitions in paragraph 5; and

(c) If such an internally reported lower-level segment meets the definition of business segment or geographical segment based on the factors in paragraph 5, the criteria in paragraph 27 for identifying reportable segments should be applied to that segment.

3. Under this statement, most enterprises will identify their business and geographical segments as the organisational units for which information is reported to the board of the directors (particularly the non-executive directors, if any) and to the chief executive officer (the senior operating decision maker, which in some cases may be group of several people) for the purpose of evaluating each unit’s performance and for making decisions about future allocations of resources.

Even if an enterprise must apply paragraph 25 because its internal segments are not along product/service or geographical lines, it will consider the next lower level of internal segmentation that reports information along product and service lines or geographical lines rather than construct segments solely for external reporting purposes.

This approach of looking to organisational and management structure of an enterprise and its internal financial reporting system to identify the business and geographical segments of the enterprise for external reporting purposes is sometimes called the ‘management approach’, and the organisation components for which information is reported internally are sometimes called ‘operating segments’.

Guideline # 3. Reportable Segments:

1. A business segment or geographical segment should be identified as a reportable segments if:

(a) Its revenue from sales to external customers and from transactions with other segments is 10 per cent or more of the total revenue, external and internal, of all segments; or

(b) Its segment result, whether profit or loss, is 10 per cent or more of:

(i) The combined result of all segments in profit, or

(ii) The combined result of all segments in loss, whichever is greater in absolute amount; or

(c) Its segment assets are 10 per cent or more of the total assets of all segments.

2. A business segment or a geographical segment which is not a reportable segment as per paragraph 27, may be designated as a reportable segment despite its size at the discretion of the management of the enterprise. If that segment is not designated as a reportable segment, it should be included as an unallocated reconciling item.

3. If total external revenue attributable to reportable segments constitutes less than 75 per cent of the total enterprise revenue, additional segments should be identified as reportable segments, even if they do not meet the 10 per cent thresholds in paragraph 27, until at least 75 per cent of total enterprise revenue is included in reportable segments.

4. The 10 per cent thresholds in this statement are not intended to be a guide for determining materiality for any aspect of financial reporting other than identifying reportable business and geographical segments.

Appendix 13A to this statement presents an illustration of the determination of reportable segments as per paragraphs 27-29.

5. A segment identified as a reportable segment in the immediately preceding period because it satisfied the relevant 10 per cent thresholds should continue to be a reportable segment for the current period notwithstanding that its revenue, result, and assets all no longer meet the 10 per cent thresholds.

6. If a segment is identified as a reportable segment in the current period because it satisfies the relevant 10 per cent thresholds, preceding-period segment data that is presented for comparative purposes should, unless it is impracticable to do so, be restated to reflect the newly reportable segment as separate segment, even if that segment did not satisfy the 10 per cent thresholds in the preceding period.

Guideline # 4. Primary Reporting Format:

1. The disclosure requirements in paragraphs 40-46 should be applied to each reportable segment based on primary reporting format of an enterprise.

2. An enterprise should disclose the following for each reportable segment:

(а) Segment revenue, classified into segment revenue from sales to external customers and segment revenue from transactions with other segments;

(b) Segment result;

(c) total carrying amount of segment assets;

(d) Total amount of segment liabilities;

(e) Total cost incurred during the period to acquire segment assets that are expected to be used during more than one period (tangible and intangible fixed assets);

(f) Total amount of expense included in the segment result for depreciation and amortisation in respect of segment assets for the period; and

(g) Total amount of significant non-cash expenses, other than depreciation and amortisation in respect of segment assets, that were included in segment expense and, therefore, deducted in measuring segment result.

3. Paragraph 40(6) requires an enterprise to report segment result. If an enterprise can compute segment net profit or loss or some other measure of segment profitability other than segment result, without arbitrary allocations, reporting of such amount(s) in addition to segment result is encouraged. If that measure is prepared on a basis other than the accounting policies adopted for the financial statements of the enterprise, the enterprise will include in its financial statements a clear description of the basis of measurement.

4. An example of a measure of segment performance above segment result in the statement of profit and loss is gross margin on sales. Examples of measures of segment performance below segment result in the statement of profit and loss are profit or loss from ordinary activities (either before or after income taxes) and net profit or loss.

5. Accounting Standard 5, ‘Net Profit or Loss for the Period, Prior Period Items and Changes in Accounting Policies’ requires that “when items of income and expense within profit or loss from ordinary activities are of such size, nature or incidence that their disclosure is relevant to explain the performance of the enterprise for the period, the nature and amount of such items should be disclosed separately”.

Examples of such item include write-downs of inventories, provisions for restructuring, disposals of fixed assets and long-term investments, legislative changes having retrospective application, litigation settlements, and reversal of provisions. An enterprise is encouraged, but not required to disclose the nature and amount of any items of segment revenue and segment expense that are of such size, nature, or incident that their disclosure is relevant to explain the performance of the segment for the period.

Such disclosure is not intended to change the classification of any such items of revenue or expenses from ordinary to extraordinary or to change the measurement of such items. The disclosure, however, does change the level at which the significance of such items is evaluated for disclosure proposes from the enterprise level to the segment level.

6. An enterprise that reports the amount of cash flows arising from operating, investing and financing activities of a segment need not disclose depreciation and amortisation expense and non-cash expenses of such segment pursuant to sub-paragraphs (f) and (g) of paragraph 40.

7. AS-3, Cash Flow Statement, recommends that an enterprise present cash flow statement that separately reports cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities. Disclosure of information regarding operating, investing and financing cash flows of each reportable segment is relevant to understanding the enterprise’s overall financial position, liquidity, and cash flows.

Disclosure of segment cash flow is, therefore, encouraged, though not required. An enterprise that provides segment cash flow disclosures need not disclose depreciation and amortisation expense and non-cash expenses pursuant to sub-paragraphs (f) and (g) of paragraph 40.

8. An enterprise should present a reconciliation between the information disclosed for reportable segments and the aggregated information in the enterprise financial statements. In presenting the reconciliation, segment revenue should be reconciled to enterprise revenue; segment result should be reconciled to enterprise net profit or loss; segment assets should be reconciled to enterprise assets; and segment liabilities should be reconciled to enterprise liabilities.

Guideline # 5. Secondary Segment Information:

1. Paragraphs 39-46 identify the disclosure requirements to be applied to each reportable segment based on primary reporting format of an enterprise.

Paragraphs 48-51 identify the disclosure requirements to be applied to each reportable segment based on secondary reporting format of an enterprise, as follows:

(a) If primary format of an enterprise is business segments, the required secondary-format disclosure are identified in paragraph 48;

(b) If primary format of an enterprise is geographical segments based on location of assets (where the products of the enterprise are produced or where its service rendering operations are based), the required secondary format disclosures are identified in paragraphs 49 and 50;

(c) If primary format of an enterprise is geographical segments based on the location of its customers (where its products are sold or services are rendered), the required secondary-format disclosures are identified in paragraphs 49 and 51.

2. If primary format of an enterprise for reporting segment information is business segments, it should also report the following information:

(a) Segment revenue from external customers by geographical area based on the geographical location of its customers, for each geographical segment whose revenue from sales to external customers is 10 per cent or more of enterprise revenue;

(b) The total carrying amount of segment assets by geographical location of assets, for each geographical segment whose segment assets are 10 per cent or more of the total assets of all geographical segments; and

(c) The total cost incurred during the period to acquire segment assets that are expected to be used during more than one period (tangible and intangible fixed assets) by geographical location of assets for each geographical segment whose segment assets are 10 per cent or more of the total assets of all geographical segments.

3. If primary format of an enterprise for reporting segment information is geographical segments (whether based on location of assets or location of customers), it should also report the following segment information for each business segment whose revenue from sales to external customers is 10 per cent or more of enterprise revenue or whose segment assets are 10 per cent or more of the total assets of all business segments:

(a) Segment revenue from external customers;

(b) The total carrying amount of segment assets; and

(c) The total cost incurred during the period to acquire segment assets that are expected to be used during more than one period (tangible and intangible fixed assets).

4. If primary format of an enterprise for reporting segment information is geographical segments that are based on location of assets, and if the location of its customers is different from the location of its assets, then the enterprise should also report revenue from sales to external customers for each customer based geographical segment whose revenue from sales to external customers is 10 per cent or more of enterprise revenue.

5. If primary format of an enterprise for reporting segment information is geographical segments that are based on location of customers, and if the assets of the enterprise are located in different geographical areas from its customers, then the enterprise should also report the following segment information for each asset based geographical segment whose revenue from sales to external customers or segment assets are 10 per cent or more of total enterprise amounts:

(a) The total carrying amount of segment assets by geographical location of the assets; and

(b) The total cost incurred during the period to acquire segment assets that are expected to be used during more than one period (tangible and intangible fixed assets) by location of the assets,

Appendix 13A to this Statement presents an illustration of the disclosures for primary and secondary formats that are required by this Statement.

Guideline # 6. Other Disclosures:

1. In measuring and reporting segment revenue from transactions with other segments, inter-segment transfers should be measured on the basis that the enterprise actually used to price those transfers. The basis of pricing intersegment transfers and any change therein should be disclosed in the financial statements.

2. Changes in accounting policies adopted for segment reporting that have a material effect on segment information should be disclosed. Such disclosure should include a description of the nature of the change, and the financial effect of the change if it is reasonably determinable.

3. AS-5 requires that changes in accounting policies adopted by the enterprise should be made only if required by statute, or for compliance with an accounting standard, or if it is considered that the change would result in a more appropriate presentation of events or transactions in the financial statements of the enterprise.

4. Changes in accounting policies adopted at the enterprise level that affect segment information are dealt with the accordance with AS-5. AS-5 requires that any change in an accounting policy which has a material effect should be disclosed. The impact of, and the adjustments resulting from, such change, if material, should be shown in the financial statements of the period in which such change is made, to reflect the effect of such change.

Where the effect of such change is not ascertainable, wholly or in part, the fact should be indicated. If a change is made in the accounting policies which has no material effect on the financial statements for the current period but which is reasonably expected to have a material effect in later periods, the fact of such change should be appropriately disclosed in the period in which the change is adopted.

5. Some changes in accounting policies relate specifically to segment reporting. Examples include changes in identification of segments and changes in the basis for allocating revenues and expenses to segments. Such changes can have a significant impact on the segment information reported but will not change aggregate financial information reported for the enterprise. To enable users to understand the impact of such changes, this Statement requires the disclosure of the nature of the change and the financial effect of the change, if reasonably determinable.

6. An enterprise should indicate the types of products and services included in each reported business segment and indicate the composition of each reported geographical segment, both primary and secondary, if not otherwise disclosed in the financial statements.

7. To assess the impact of such matters as shifts in demand, changes in the prices of inputs or other factors of production, and the development of alternative products and processes on a business segment, it is necessary to know the activities encompassed by that segment. Similarly, to assess the impact of changes in the economic and political environment on the risks and returns of a geographical segment, it is important to know the composition of that geographical segment.

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